Chianese's late strike seals Cup win

A late goal from substitute Joel Chianese sealed a hard-fought 2-1 victory for Glory over the WA State Team in Thursday night's Challenge Cup clash at Dalmatinac Park.

All three goals came in the second half, with Tomi Mrcela putting Glory in front with a bullet header, before Trent Kay levelled for Jamie Harnwell's men with a similar effort.

Chianese then ensured that his side would retain the trophy by capping a mazy dribble into the box with a close-range finish which found the net via both posts.

Click HERE for the match highlights [courtesy of Football West].

In one of his side's more competitive pre-season hit-outs to date, Head Coach Tony Popovic opted to play much of the first half with only ten men after Jacob Italiano unfortunately limped off with a knee injury and his charges responded well to the challenge.

Despite their numerical inferiority, the A-League outfit continued to dominate possession and carved out several decent chances in front of a healthy crowd that braved a wet evening in the southern suburbs. 

Tony Popovic's post-match reflections

Glory's first effort of the night was fired in by Jake Brimmer after seven minutes and drew a regulation save from Luke Radonich and the State Team 'keeper was called into action again moments later when Scott Neville's deep cross eventually fell for Jason Davidson who managed to get a shot away.

The men in purple were content to probe patiently away at a compact State Team defence and went close again when a fierce strike from Brandon Wilson was well blocked by Radonich on the half-hour mark.

Yet it was the State Team who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period when former Glory Youth player Gian Albano rattled the crossbar with a shot on the turn.

Glory began the second half brightly and edged ahead 11 minutes in when Brimmer's pinpoint corner was powerfully headed home by Mrcela.

Wilson then saw his fizzing, low effort well saved by substitute 'keeper Sam Stone, but just as Popovic's side looked set to pull away, the State Team restored parity when Kay rose highest to meet David Micevski's corner.

After Michael Domfeh and Brendon Santalab both went close to restoring Glory's lead, it was left to Chianese to have the final word.

Cutting in from the right flank, the former Sydney FC man skipped past three defenders and beat Stone with a shot that more than wiped its feet on the way over the line.

Dino Djulbic with the Challenge Cup
Dino Djulbic lifts the Challenge Cup

Match Details

WA State Team 1 (Kay 73') Perth Glory 2 (Mrcela 56', Chianese 85')

Half-time: 0-0

WA State Team:
20.Luke RADONICH, 28.Shane CASSIDY, 6.Johnny CHALMERS, 4.Callum O'CONNELL,16.Scott ROBERTSON, 5.David STOKOE, 27.Jonathan CORNESS, 7.Gian ALBANO, 10.Chris JACKSON, 11.Hasani SINCLAIR, 14.Brian WOODALL 

Substitutes not used: 1.Sam STONE, 2.Liam MERIGAN, 12.David MICEVSKI, 13.Trent KAY, 15.Chris SALDARIS, 

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Jackson LEE (40.Devon SPENCE 67'), 2.Alex GRANT (6.Dino DJULBIC 46'), 3.Jason DAVIDSON (25.Walter SCOTT, 46'), 4.Shane LOWRY (19.Zayd FARAH 46'), 23.Scott NEVILLE (7.Joel CHIANESE 67'), 14.Chris HAROLD (11.Brendon SANTALAB 67'), 16.Tomislav MRCELA (24.Henry HORE 67'), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (9.Michael DOMFEH 46'), 20.Jake BRIMMER (8.Jordan ABRAHAMS 67'), 15.Brandon WILSON (88.Neil KILKENNY 67'), 31.Chok DAU (22.Fabio FERREIRA 67')

Substitutes not used: None

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Main photo courtesy of Tom McCarthy

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